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CANADIAN COUNSELLOR, VOL. 3, No.1, JANUARY, 1969, 56-58
Faculty of Education,
University of British Columbia.
THE RELATION OF mGH SCHOOL GRADES,
ACHIEVEMENT AND INTELLIGENCE TEST SCORES
TO SUCCESS IN DENTAL SCHOOL
Prediction of college achievement level has long been an important con
cern of high-school counsellors and educational researchers. Attempts began
as early as 1928 to investigate relationships between high-school and college
grades (Learned & Wood, 1938). Results generally have indicated a correla
tion of about .90 between high school and college achievement (Bloom,
1964, pp. 95-96).
However, few studies have investigated the relationship between achieve
ment in high school and achievement in post-college professional schools
such as law and medicine. Since the post-college professional schools ~re
becoming increasingly stringent in their entrance requirements (Heller, Car
son, & Douglas, 1965), knowledge of the relationship would be useful to the
high-school counsellor. The present study is concerned with obtaining such
Specifically, the purpose of the study was to investigate the relationship
between selected high-school variables and achievement in dental school.
The subjects were 230 members of the classes entering a southwestern
U.S. dental school in 1962, 1963, 1964, and 1965.
The freshman dental grade point average (FGPA) was selected as the
criterion of success in dental school. Freshman rather than graduating grade
point average was selected to reduce the time lapse between obtaining the
independent variables and the criterion and to include in the study students
who were in the freshman year but failed to graduate.
The high school which each student had attended was contacted by mail,
and a list of high-school courses, grades, intelligence and achievement test
scores was requested.
From the information received, scores on the following variables were
recorded: FGPA; high-school GPA; high-school rank; science GPA (includ
ing mathematics); non-science GPA; English, biology, chemistry and physics
GPA's; percent of coursework in science; Co-operative School and College
Ability Test (SCAT) verbal; SCAT quantitative; SCAT total; American
Council on Education Test (ACE) verbal; ACE quantitative; ACE total;
Otis IQ and California Test of Mental Maturity (CTMM) IQ.
Grade points were assigned on a four point scale, that is 4 = 4, B = 3,
C = 2 and D = 1.
Means and standard deviations for each variable were computed. Cor
relation coefficients were determined between each of the 17 independent
variables and the criterion variable.
CONSEILLER CANADIEN, VOL. 3, No. I, JANVIER, 1969
Replies were obtained from ]92 of the 230 students, representing 83%
return, but it was not possible to obtain information on all 18 variables for
these ] 92 students. Means, standard deviations, and number of cases for
each variable, and the correlation of each independent variable with the
criterion are given in Table 1.
Table I-Means, standard deviations and number of cases for the indepen
dent and criterion variables, and correlations of the independent
variables with the criterion.
Eleven of the seventeen correlations with FGPA were significant beyond
the .05 level. These significant correlations ranged from .17 to .38.
Mean high-school grade point averages were approximately 3.0, repre
senting a B average. Mean high school IQ was about 118.
The number of significant correlations between the independent vari
ables and the criterion suggests important relations in overall grade point
average: grades in English, physics and chemistry; and CTMM IQ.
However, the usefulness of these relationships is limited by two factors.
First, the statistically significant correlations were barely high enough in
most cases to achieve significance. That is, one may say with some assurance
that these relationships are significantly greater than zero, but that is about
as far as one may go. Second, the size of the correlation coefficients obtained
indicates that anyone variable contributes little more than ] 0% to the
CANADIAN COUNSELLOR, VOL 3, No. I, JANUARY, 1969
The means of the independent variables indicate that the dental students
were probably in the upper third of their high-school classes in achievement.
This is in accord with Mann's finding that most dental school applicants
"estimated they were in the upper third of their high school classes (Mann,
1961, p. 266)."
The implication of these findings for the high-school counsellor is that a
student need not be in the upper five or ten percent of his class before con
sideration of dentistry is a realistic consideration. While achievement and
intelligence level have some relationship to later success in dental school,
the relationship is not sufficiently strong to provide more than a very approxi
mate prognosis of dental-school achievement.
Bloom, B. S. Stability and change in human characteristics. New York: Wiley,
Heller, D. B., Carson, R. L., & Douglas, B. L. Selection of students for dental
schools. Journal of Dental Education, 1965 29, 202-205.
Learned, W. S., & Wood, B. C. The student and his knowledge. New York: The
Carnel.!ie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 1938.
Mann, W. R. Dental education. In B. C. Hollinshead (Ed.), The survey of
dentistry; The final report of the commission on the survey of dentistry in the
United States. Washington: American Council on Education, 1961.
LA SCOLARITE AU SECONDAIRE, LES RESULTATS DES TESTS DE
RENDEMENT ET D'INTELLIGENCE PEUVENT-ILS PREDIRE
LE SUCCES A L'ECOLE D'ART DENTAIRE?
Cette etude voulait essayer d'etablir un lien entre certaines variables du
niveau secondaire et Ie rendement a l'ecole d'art dentaire afin de fournir aux
conseillers d'orientation du cours secondaire des informations qui aideront
les etudiants qui desirent poursuivre leurs etudes dans une ecole profession
L'etude se fit aupres des etudiants en art dentaire de premiere annee.
Les donnees portaient sur la scolarite au secondaire et les resultats de tests
de rendement et d'intelligence.
Sept des onze correlations s'avererent significatives mais relativement
peu elevees. La moyenne se situait autour du soixante-cinquieme rang centile.
n faut done conclure que si Ie rendement et l'intelligence ont une cer
taine relation avec Ie succes a l'ecole dentaire, cette relation n'est pas assez
forte pour etablir des pronostics, sinon d'une fa~on tOllt a fait approxima
tive, quant au succes aux ecoles d'art dentaire.